Unlike maggots and casters, which are quite expensive, worms are not only an excellent bait but are free. All that is required is a little effort and forethought. Lobworms are the largest worms and are an excellent bait for the larger species of fish such as tench, barbel and chub. Some of the largest roach on record have also been caught on lobworms. Many-anglers confuse big garden worms with lobworms, but lobworms are not often encountered whilst digging soil and the only sure way of collecting them is to catch them after dark on damp evenings when they come to the surface of a lawn or flowerbed. The best times of year to collect plenty of lobworms are October and November and then again in March and April. The ideal conditions are very damp, mild evenings with little or no wind. Hundreds of lobworms can be collected in a single evening by creeping across a well mown lawn and picking them up in the light ofa torch. On really wet evenings lob-worms will even surface between the cracks in paving stones so collecting them is not very difficult.
Any damaged worms should be thrown away and the rest can be stored cpiite easily for many months in plastic buckets, provided they are not overcrowded. Soak sheets of newspaper in water then squeeze out the surplus water and shred the paper into a bucket. Fill it nearly to the top with the damp paper and (hen tip in the lobworms. If they are left overnight the healthy worms will work themselves down amongst the paper and the damaged ones left on top can be thrown away. Store the worms in a cool, well-ventilated spot such as the corner of the garage and you will have a plentiful supply of worms when you want them. The paper can be changed every few months and ideally die top layer should be kept damp. There is no need to feed the lobworms as they cat the paper which is made from plant pulp. If you add lea leaves or compost this will quickly kill these worms since decomposition of the material will produce heat which they cannot tolerate. IF you store lobworms this way you will have plenty of bait in summer when long daylight hours and dry conditions make collecting them impossible. How to use lobworms A lobworm should be fished by passing the hook just once through the head end of the worm. There is absolutely no need to pass the hook two or three times through the worm so that the bait ends up looking like a big granny knot. A chub or tench can suck the largest lobworm into its mouth faster than you can see. The size of hook depends on the size of the worm but it should be large a size 4 to size 10. For the average sized roach a lobworm’s tail fished on a size 12 hook is a good bail. In flood conditions lobworms take some beating as a bait and even dace will tackle a huge lobworm.